Extended summer ‘safe haven’ hours for Wilmington’s West Center City William "Hicks" Anderson Community Center end this week.
But a $10,000 state Department of Health and Social Services grant will provide an additional 100 hours of programming at the Hicks Anderson Community Center through mid-November.
“We have our traditional athletic programs, we have basketball, we have a gym, we have a library, we have a computer room, we have a pool that’s being renovated, we have a game room, we have boxing, we have an art room..." Kelley said.
The center’s normal hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Wilmington’s Director of Parks and Recreation Kevin Kelley says it will now be open until 10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
“Young people should be home during the week, they should be studying, Kelley said. "But Friday nights we give them a little opportunity to stay in later, and the Saturday we give them an opportunity to come to the center Saturday.”
Over the summer, the center extended its hours Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until 10 p.m. and Saturdays noon to 4 p.m. Kelley says this is the first time the center will extend its hours during the fall, part of Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki’s continued focus on West Center City.
He says the hours will be revisited in November.
“We may - as we go forward – look at splitting the Saturday, and providing some services on Saturday and Sunday," Kelley said.
An additional $5,000 grant has been used to engage youth about substance abuse issues.